FULTON — Behind a game-winning goal from Hayden Sachel, the Fulton varsity boys soccer team won 3-2 over Central Square Tuesday at G. Ray Bodley High School.
Ethan Caruana scored the other two Raider goals, both from deep in the offensive third of the field. Fulton coach Nate Murray said he’s been telling his team “it’s about getting the ball on frame,” which Caruana was able to do against the Red Hawks.
“I think the difference is we’ve been running off the ball a lot better,” Murray said. “Ethan is tremendous. He’s got such good touch and accuracy.”
Central Square came fast out of the gate, scoring both of its goals 22 minutes into the first half. Murray said his team in the last couple seasons has started fairly slow, and this season was no different. Most recently, Fulton lost to Baldwinsville 5-0.
“Tonight we got down in the hole 2-0, and I was like, ‘Oh man, here we go again,’” he said. “We had resilience, some fortitude and a little gut check going on.”
Following a 0-3 start to the season, Murray said his team changed its overall shape on the field a couple times already. His team got some good opportunities on Tuesday in close to the net after some strong passing.
“I’m hoping this is dialed in a little bit,” he said. “We also moved a couple personnel around, and I think it suits their style of play a little bit more.”
A lot of those changes happened in the backfield with a very diverse group of players, Murray added. Peter Nalle was able to stop a lot of crosses from Central Square and bring the ball up the middle, which is something he doesn’t do often, Murray continued.
“Peter and Mark (Tallents) are just tremendous. Those two are just such good athletes,” he said. “Peter’s got the speed, got the talent, he’s smart. He knows the game.”
One thing that hasn’t changed is the Raiders’ goaltender Dalton Hines, who is just one of three sophomores on the starting roster for Fulton. He came up big with a diving stop with 1:26 left in the game to prevent Central Square from tying the game at three.
Murray mentioned that the two goals were because of breakdowns in the backfield, rather than a miscue from Hines.
“The two balls that he let in were ones that he couldn’t handle. They were just great shots,” Murray said. “He’s young. He’s been nervous, openly, and he stepped up. He’s been big for us even though we’ve struggled this early part of the year.”
Fulton (1-3) is at Fowler on Thursday as they take on the Falcons at 4:30 p.m. The practice in between games will be heavily focused on what the team did well against Central Square, Murray added, but also preparing for a different style of play that Fowler brings.
“(Fowler’s) generally a little quicker, and they play a different style than we’ve seen so far,” he said. “They also play on grass. It makes things different. It makes the skill level of the game change.”